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Veterans get in free at Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival

February 12th, 2014 | by Denise Goolsby | Comments
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Pigs race to the finish line at the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008. Denise Goolsby/The Desert Sun

The Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is offering free admission for veterans (with military ID) and up to three family members to attend the fair, which runs through Feb. 23.

“Veterans are near and dear to the country and we are showing our appreciation to the servicemen and women,” Veronica Casper of the Riverside County Economic Development Agency said.

The agency produces the annual 10-day event that takes place in February at the Riverside County Fairgrounds, 82-503 Highway 111, Indio.

On Aug. 15, 2013, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to institute the Waive Admissions Involving Veteran’s Entry (W.A.I.V.E.) program, which waives admission for veterans and recognized military service organizations to specific county facilities and events, including the fair.

Organizers will also honor veterans on Monday during Veterans Appreciation Day at the fair. The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with the Presidents Day Grand Parade.

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Ret. U.S. Army Lt. Gen Herb Temple speaks during the Gen. Patton Memorial Museum’s 25th Annual celebration on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013.

Parade Grand Marshal is Ret. U.S. Army Lt. Gen Herb Temple, a Coachella Valley resident and Korean War veteran.

Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will perform at 5 p.m. at the Fantasy Springs Concert Pavilion at the fairgrounds.

The band is named after the character Lt. Dan Taylor — portrayed by Sinise in the film “Forrest Gump.”

The concept came about when Sinise requested permission to bring musicians along during his USO tours.

The EDA is working with the city of Palm Desert, Habitat for Humanity and Holt Architecture to provide a home for local veteran/wounded warrior.

“We are currently in the selection process and hope to announce the recipient very soon,” Casper said.

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